State Representative calls trash dumping in North City neighborhood a health hazard

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ST. LOUIS – It's more than just an eye sore, it's a health hazard.

Dumping is a big issue in the Baden neighborhood and community leaders say the city needs to play a bigger role in the cleanup.

"I don't suggest anyone drive down through the alley's," says resident Jim Wadum.

Littered with trash, tires, old furniture, and broken glass even 10-year-old Allante Blackmon knows the alley by his house isn't a safe place to play.

He says his bike tire popped while riding down the ally.

And that's not the only problem, the garbage attracts rats and other critters.

"Last week I caught seven in my house and got rid of them," says Wadum.

State Representative Joshua Peters  says the litter is not only a health hazard but a quality of life issue that's why he held a cleanup day, but he says that's not nearly enough.

"We're also looking for again an increase in the schedule of pick up for some of the bulk trash, " he says.

St. Louis Operations Director Todd Walterman says the issue is city wide due to a trash truck shortage causing pick up delays.

They've ordered 14 more trucks after the city approved a rate increase and they should be on the road by this spring.

"But again between now and then what do we do? What is the solution now that you have the dollars and have the resources how are you going to address these particular issues? Just sticking to the same regular schedule isn't going to be the end all fix all, " says Peters.